August 25, 2005 -- HERE comes the judge - about 70 lbs. lighter than last season.
"Divorce Court" star Judge Mablean Ephriam slimmed down over the summer, just in time for the seventh season of the popular syndicated show.
She dropped the weight thanks to a brief stint on VH1's reality slim-down show, "Celebrity Fit Club," followed by months of hard work afterward when she hired her own personal trainer, and changed her diet and eating habits.
Ephriam also doesn't need her trademark glasses anymore. As part of her own personal celebrity makeover, the judge underwent Lasik eye surgery.
Along with Ephriam's new look, "Divorce Court" is getting a slightly new look as well. Producers have added a segment to the show called "The Confessional," where litigants freely express themselves into the camera so viewers will know what they're really thinking and not just what they say in court.
On the show, couples who have filed for divorce allow Ephriam to mediate their disputes. Ephriam began her justice career as a correctional officer in a federal women's prison. She later became a legal secretary and simultaneously attended and graduated from law school.
- Don Kaplan